As the sun rises on 2020, it’s time to set goals

A new year approaches: 2020, the year of the double crit, and it’s time to set some goals and make some plans. 🙂

My primary, short-term goals are more of a “to-do” list than actual goals. I have things piled up from this year that will need to be taken care of before I can take on new things. Here’s my list of “things that are left over from 2019 that I have to finish before the end of February 2020“:

-Write, edit, polish, submit short story to the anthology I’ve joined

-Complete the two Kingdom scrolls I’ve been assigned to do (SCA project)

-Finish my Valkyrie hood so I can fight in it at Estrella (SCA project)

-Full construction and embroidery on a commissioned Viking hood, hopefully before Estrella (SCA project)

-Full construction and embroidery on a Hedeby bag for my husband (SCA project)

-Embroidery commission for some friends (SCA project)

^^ These are things that have to be done. I have set a firm deadline for them, so I’ve gotta follow through.

Then there are some less-deadliney things. These are more the goals/plans that I’m making for the upcoming year:


-Book 2 revisions/marketing/promotion (after back from beta readers–this will have a deadline because, well, publishing lol)

-Two current novellas-in-progress

-Potentially three more novellas (a trilogy)

-Teach more SCA arts classes

-Learn more SCA/medieval arts

-Get back into rapier fighting (now that I’ve lost enough weight that I feel comfortable fighting again–when I’m off restrictions, that is)

-Recertification for work

-Take better care of my mental health (and start asserting myself in those times where I normally back down and give in)

-Read more books

-Continue to build my social media presence as an author and build my brand

-Do more SCA (and mundane) sewing/embroidery/arts for myself and my husband

-Continue with my keto diet and weight loss, adding exercise as tolerated (once I’m off restrictions from my podiatrist)

-Work more with my co-author on our horror novel to get the first draft of that finished and in the editing process

This is by no means a comprehensive list, because, frankly, I haven’t thought about it that much yet. I’ve got so many things in the first list to get finished that I haven’t activated my “2020 vision.” Lol

But wait! 2020 isn’t just the start of a new year–it’s the start of a new decade. So, then, I’ve got 10 years’ worth of goals to devise. Let’s see what I can come up with here:

-Complete the 5-book ABNORMAL series and start on the ABNORMAL LINEAGE spin-off series

-Continue to take advantage of writing opportunities to participate in box sets/anthologies and grow as an author

-Expand body of written works to include more genres/standalones/etc

-Find an effective way to save money for attending conventions/book signings as an author–and then attend more signings and conventions 😉

-Strive to achieve Laurelhood before 2030 (which is, oddly enough, both within my ability to achieve and totally beyond my control haha)

-Work on overcoming (or at least adapting to) my social anxiety to where I can function better at social events, like conventions or SCA events

-Continue building an author network

-Learn more about generating graphics for book covers, book marketing, and other things

-Maintain the weight I’ve lost, get to a healthy weight, and try to find an exercise plan that works for my lifestyle

-Learn how to pattern more complex clothing (Viking I can do, but that’s too easy–I want to learn the concepts behind patterning that get me from measurements to finished garment without necessarily needing a manufactured pattern)

-Accept my grey hairs wholeheartedly

-Find a better balance between work/home/SCA/writing that encompasses all the things I need to do as well as all the things I want to do as well as omitting the things I don’t want to do lol

-Take more vacations

-Make my health a higher priority, in as much as it comes to calling out when I’m sick and not trying to “soldier on,” taking time off when it’s physically or mentally needed, and recognizing when I’m taking on too many projects for my mind and body to handle

It’s a tall order, but these are my goals for the next two months, the next year, and the next ten years. Note that I’m calling them “goals” instead of “resolutions.” I make the distinction because I’m not “resolving” to change things, but rather setting what I hope are realistic goals that will improve my writing career, further my SCA learning/experience, and keep me mentally sound through it all.

2020 is just another year, but at the same time it’s not. As long as I make an effort to do the things I want to do in the coming year/decade, 2020 is whatever I make of it. 🙂

2020 Vision

It’s going to be a year of puns and bad dad jokes. You might ask why…Well, I happen to be lucky enough to have a day job at an eye clinic–and it’s fixing to be 2020 all year long.

What’s in store for me for 2020? Let’s see…. Fingers crossed that Book 3 finally starts to behave and I can get it finished. Re-release of WHISPERS OF DEATH, complete with new cover design and revision of the inside text. *Hopefully* completion and release of ESCAPE THE LIGHT (ABNORMAL Book 2). Release of the WICKED SOULS box set in September. Two more box sets. Wait…three. Three more. Which means three more stories to write/edit/etc. And one of those stories may or may not lead in to a novella trilogy. So there’s that on the writing front.

Then, in SCA news, there’s Twelfth Night, which my husband is autocratting and which I have to make 2 undergarments and eleventy thousand buttons for. There will be Estrella War, which I hope to have at least one more outfit made for (and which I’ll finally be able to fight again for!). There are still commissions from 2019 begging to be completed…and who knows what new commissions will come in?

Work-wise (speaking of that eye clinic day job)….that remains to be seen. (Ha-ha) It’s not bad-bad, but it’s becoming…stagnant. That’s a good word for it, I guess. There’s no growth and no hope for improvement, from where I stand, but there’s also no way out, so I guess I’ll be there for the foreseeable future.

I’ve started making lists to keep track of what I need to do for writing and SCA. I’m starting to get helium hand when it comes to agreeing to do shit, and it’s making it hard to get the shit I already have to do done. Let’s hope that 2020 brings better time management, along with the ability to realize that I need to make time for both writing and SCA and that I need to take each into consideration when making agreements for the other. Just because I tend to compartmentalize does not mean my time will compartmentalize itself accordingly and give me the sections of time I need to do all the things.

My goals for 2020? I guess I can lay those out in a neat little list here. Give myself something to look back on and remind myself of:

-Finish Book 3's draft!!!
-Draft/edit/revise CONJURING ASYLUM before the Feb 1 deadline
-Finish cotehardie buttons and undergarments (in progress)
-Finish revising WHISPERS OF DEATH and rerelease
-Edit/revise SKIN DEEP
-Draft/edit/revise TO MELT A FROZEN HEART
-Make another apron dress and underdress
-Pare down commission list and complete current commissions before Estrella War, then start getting smart about taking on more
-Teach a couple of classes (in the SCA--not in writing lol)

It’s a deceptively accomplishable list. I say deceptively because there will inevitably be new opportunities and new commissions to take on. Estrella is only in February, and new writing opportunities are popping up left and right lately. That last goal, the one bold printed in all caps, is the kicker. I don’t yet know what new goals/deadlines will present themselves.

After all, I don’t exactly have 2020 vision.

Branching out

Okay, so I’ve done poetry, flash fiction, short stories, novels, and now novellas–so now what?

Well, I guess I’ll work on photo edits and graphics. Oh, and marketing (still), and content generation, and and and…

There’s a lot more to being a writer than just writing the things. I have to know what to do with the things once I’ve written them, and I guess know how to make the things pretty, and who to show the things to, and so forth and so on.

I am by no means a master. Mistress. Whatever. Point being, I still have a lot to learn, but I am willing to learn and grow and expand my wheelhouse.

Despite my growing repertoire, I’m still–now and forever, it seems–stuck on Book 3. I had been hoping that diverting myself to the two novellas would give my old noggin a rest and let me regroup, but sadly that’s not much the case. I still get stuck, and I still don’t quite know where I’m going with this any more than I did when I set it aside.

There’s some good news to it, though; I have a mockup of a cover design for one of the novellas. Observe what some stock photos and photo editing apps can do:

Will that be the final design? I don’t know, but I like what I have so far, and I’m kind of proud of getting there on my own.

I guess I’ve procrastinated enough, though. Book 3 is still waiting for me to add some words and get the story moving. Onward and upward–in word count, that is.

The Long and Short of It

Now that I’ve got more publications pending than I know what to do with, I need to evaluate my writing style and see how to proceed with future works-in-progress.

I still love writing novels; I love every bit of it, even the bits I hate. Lol I mean, it’s hard, and it’s tiring, and the process is long and arduous, but the end result is amazing. With the ABNORMAL series especially, I get to create a whole new world for people to experience. However….

….Several of my new projects are short stories or novellas. Much shorter works, but still effective. I can even continue or expand the Abnormalverse within these short stories and novellas. And yeah, the process for these is quicker, and I can knock ’em out faster. But is that what I want to focus on?

At this point, I think it’s a wait-and-see type of situation. The main ABNORMAL story needs to take place in novels; it’s too vast, too broad for me to switch to novellas to tell it. But to be honest? I like writing novellas, too. I get to tell a concise, comprehensive story yet still reach a wider base. The problem is, I also get distracted. I mean, Book 3 is still chugging along, but I probably could have gotten a lot more done if I’d kept at it instead of sidetracking myself.

Do I regret the sidetracks? No. They’re all going to further my writing career, short though they may be. I mean, I’ve even reached international bestseller status in a matter of weeks just by participating in a novella box set (with another Abnormalverse story, I might add). I just need to find a good balance between work, SCA life, novel writing, and short story/novella writing. And the marketing for all the writing.

It’s still doable, right? I mean, I’m sure there are plenty of authors in the SCA. And, seeing as how authorship does not often equate to extravagant wealth, I’m sure they have day jobs to tend to as well. So there’s theoretically precedent for this being done.

Yeah. I can do this. Long or short, I can keep writing until I have no stories left in me.

I have made one big decision for the Abnormalverse, though: I’ve decided not to make the spin-off series to the original ABNORMAL series a YA series. I just can’t produce good YA material. Every time I try to get started with outlining and mind mapping the series, I get siderailed by things like….what the hell do teenagers do with their lives??? I’ve blacked out most of my teenage years out of self-preservation. I hated being a “young adult.” I like adulthood, where the filters are off and the censorship is minimal. So yeah, the Abnormal Lineage series will be, like ABNORMAL, a NA/A series. Let’s keep the sexyfuntimes while still having a good, solid story. 😉

Of course, I have to finish writing the primary ABNORMAL series first….

…Back to the writing board!

When the sun sets, a new dawn beckons

Isn’t sunset beautiful in Arizona? All the pinks and purples and blues…sometimes brilliant oranges or vibrant reds. They’re different from any sunsets I ever saw in Alabama or Ohio.

It makes me think about the future–about what a sunset might look like in the world of Abnormal.

Abnormal’s skies aren’t pretty. They’re dingy and grey and polluted. But what would that do to their sunsets?

I imagine skies afire. I imagine flamelike skylines as the departing sun lights up the atmosphere. I imagine a strange beauty borne of death and destruction.

These are just some of the things I think about when I’m creating the world of Abnormal. What’s the weather like? The atmosphere? What’s the temperature on a sunny summer day? What about winter?

Yeah, the world of Abnormal is bleak and dying. But is it irreparable? That remains to be seen.

World building is not the easiest of things to accomplish. How does one make a world that is believable and familiar, yet far-off and alien?

I’m not gonna lie; it’s hard.

Sometimes I have to go back and reread my work to see if I’m missing anything, some small detail that will have the die-hard readers grumbling. If you haven’t pissed off a fan, have you really written anything?

I’m rambling, I know. I’ve had a bit to drink tonight (the first of four total Thanksgiving celebrations), and I’m tired and still a bit hungry–seeing as how, with my keto diet, I couldn’t eat my usual Thanksgiving fare.

I’ve got more to write on another Abnormalverse story this weekend. I’m about 1/3 of the way through, but I hope I can finish the draft and get it to my co-author to edit by the time the weekend’s done.

Then, hopefully, it’s back to Book 3 for more progress. Hopefully.

Speaking of the Abnormalverse, I’ve created a Facebook group for fans of the series and its offshoots. If you’re interested, or if you’re just a fan of sci-fi and dystopian fiction in general, click here to join the Abnormal Railroad. I’ll be posting memes, sharing articles, and providing updates on any goings-on in sci-fi/dystopia or the Abnormalverse.

It’s just another place for the Abnormalverse to grow and expand. If you’ve read ABNORMAL and enjoyed the story and the characters, join the Abnormal Railroad and see what’s up!


It’s the weekend. I’m home alone until Sunday afternoon, so I have all the time in the world–or at least thirty-six hours of it–to get shit done.

So why am I rooted to the couch, laptop in hand, working on a rough draft, when I could be sewing, doing laundry, or cleaning up–all the things I don’t have time for during the week?

I guess I’m just prodraftinating. It’s a thing now, I’ve decided. Basically, I’m avoiding all the work I need to do by working on the rough draft of my romance WIP. I’m at 12,600 words out of a minimum 15,000, and the story’s close to wrapping up, but I’m still far from “done.” My story has trapped me, and I have to see it through.

I’m loving my new characters, and it’s nice to take a break from the Abnormalverse (as I’ve dubbed it) for a contemporary story. No magic, no supernatural happenings, so evolutionary powers, no politics–just a story about a girl and a guy and a little happily ever after.

Once it’s drafted, though, I’ll have to dive back into the Abnormalverse for a couple of WIPs: my current 3rd installment of the primary Abnormal series, plus a new WIP that fell into my lap yesterday that takes place in the Abnormalverse but only features a cameo of my MCs from Abnormal.

The writing has taken a sudden leap in volume and prolificity (which, spell check says, is not a word, but I’m already making up words today so whatever). I’ve gone from working on one piece exclusively, with maybe a couple short stories or poems sprinkled between primary writing sessions, to having–let’s see–three active works-in-progress. It’s kind of cool. I feel like a “real” author. Lol

I do have to do some “real” work today, though; my co-host and I have two interviews to record for our podcast, so I’ll have to stop the writing for those at least. What I’ll do after is up in the air, because that just might be the pause button I need to get up and to other things. But those are almost six hours away, so maybe I’ll finish my draft first. Who knows. Ideally, I’d like to finish the first draft within my word count limit, but I might have to go back and revise to fill it in more.

My newest project should be interesting, and even though I’m toiling away at the contemporary romance story, the back of my mind is plotting and devising a strategy for this new WIP. I’m hoping I don’t completely stall out on the 3rd Abnormal book while all this other stuff is going on, but I was needing a break from it anyway. Maybe these other Abnormalverse stories will spark some new ideas for the primary Abnormal story line. Maybe. Who knows.

I guess I’m off to finish my draft now. My characters are standing next to me, arms crossed over their chests, tapping their feet as they wait for me to hurry the fuck up.

Y’all just calm the fuck down. I’m getting to you–just be patient. 😉

Diamonds in the Rust

It’s hotter than Satan’s balls out today. I’ve got my hair tied up off the back of my neck, but a few scraggly strands fell out and are plastered to my damp skin. They’re itchy, but not as annoying as the swarms of flies buzzing in my ears.

Why am I trudging through the thick, muggy air in this old junkyard, risking tetanus, injury, and heat stroke? Well, I found something the other day. Something strange that could change my life for the better–if I can just find what I’m looking for.

You see, I’m not the most well-off person. I don’t make a lot of money, but I’ve been smart enough to keep my credit score looking decent. Decent enough to get the deed to a run-down old farmhouse at the police auction last month.

It’s not the nicest place, but overall it’s cheaper than anything I could find for rent in town. I started cleaning it up about a week ago, and after umpteen heart attacks when I brushed an occupied spider web out of my hair, it’s finally starting to look livable. Livable by a human being, that is. The spiders are gone now. Mostly. I hope.

Anyway, the farmhouse had a wonky floorboard that was driving me bonkers every time I stepped on it. Since the house was an as-is package, I had to fix it myself. I’m not much of a handyman–er, handywoman, I guess–but I own a crowbar and a hammer, and I can find a slab of wood somewhere to fill in where the creaky board used to be.

No, I’m not in the junkyard to find a slab of wood. Let me finish.

Underneath that creaky board was a brittle, yellowed old envelope. The sticky stuff on the seal was all dissolved, so I didn’t technically open someone else’s stuff… the letter just kinda fell out. And came unfolded when it landed. And it’s not my fault it landed right side up. I couldn’t help but read it.

I didn’t know much about the history of the farmhouse until I did some research after reading that letter. Turns out it was owned by a pretty sketchy dude. I mean, assault-robbery-murder kind of sketchy. The robbery part is where the letter comes in.

The guy’s name was William “Switchblade Bill” Halder. Good ol’ Switchblade Bill knocked off a few jewelry stores a while back. He was caught and locked up, but he got shanked in a prison fight before the cops could find out what he did with the jewels. Not just any jewels: diamonds.

The cops must’ve been pretty dumb to auction off the house before checking any hiding spots, because the letter was from Switchblade Bill. I can’t read who it was addressed to–once the envelope came open, it pretty much disintegrated–but Bill went and wrote a letter to someone detailing what he did with the diamonds.

It’s been thirty years. The car was an old clunker even then, but no one has used this junkyard in over a decade. And I haven’t found any news reports about forty grand worth of diamonds being discovered there. So there’s a chance. A chance for things to go my way for once.

Just as I’m about to give up, when I’m on my last sip of the water I brought, I see it. A nineteen sixty-two Studebaker. It’s looking more shit-brown than the cherry-red it used to be, but I googled that car enough in the past week to recognize its corpse behind that old refrigerator.

I look down at the el cheapo lockpick set I ordered online. Just in case the glove box is locked. Not that I know how to pick a lock, but there’s enough of a cell signal out here that I’m sure I can find some kind of a tutorial online. It can’t be that hard, right? I mean, it always looks easy enough on TV.

My first real obstacle comes when I pull the handle and the door is jammed. It wiggles a bit, but it won’t come open. A nearby hunk of metal takes care of the dirty window, and I’m able to shimmy inside.

My clothes are drenched in sweat, and I’m not sure it’s entirely from the heat. This is it. This is where I get my life out of the fucking gutter. This is where I come out on top.

The lock turns out to be a bigger pain in the ass than I thought it would be. It’s beyond rusty, and the tumblers won’t budge. In the end, I have to climb out of the car window, find my hunk of metal, and climb back in.

It takes a few whacks to break the lock. My palm is sliced to shit from the rusty piece of metal. I’ll need to get a tetanus shot when I get back to town. Maybe a couple of stitches. It’ll be worth it, though.

I take a deep breath before I pull open the glove box. My heart is pounding, and I feel kind of faint. I reach out, and–

–and at first I think the sudden chest pain is from nerves. It takes me a second to look down at the growing red stain on my shirt.

That’s not supposed to be there. I know I’ve been crawling around a rust bucket for the last hour, but the stain shouldn’t be growing.

I hear laughing coming from outside the car, and now I’m really confused. I thought I was the only one here. Who’s laughing at my rust-stained shirt?

I turn my head and see a huge guy standing about twenty feet away. He’s smoking a cigar I think–there’s smoke of some kind coming from his hand, anyway.

I blink, and for some reason it’s a super slow blink. Slo-mo. Like someone is messing with the remote control for my life. The big guy isn’t affected, though, because in the span of that blink he’s right next to me.

It’s not a cigar he’s got in his hand. It’s a gun with a funny looking barrel, like the kind you see assassins using in movies. One of those things to make the gun quiet. What are those things called? I can’t think of the word…

“Thanks for finding my partner’s stash for me,” he says. “Saved me a buttload of trouble.”

Partner? I’m so confused.

I open my mouth to talk, but all that comes out is a wheeze.

The guy leans in the window and shoves me into the driver’s side seat. I flop over like a limp… something. Why can’t I think of words? And hell, why is everything still moving so slow?

I hear the clatter of something small and hard falling onto the floor beneath the glove box. I want to object to this guy’s thievery, but as my eyelids start to sag I smile a little at the irony. Here I was, shiny new lockpick set in hand, ready to rob a dead man, and now I’m getting robbed before I can do the robbing.

The car seat underneath me has a bright red stain too. Huh. Wonder where that came from.

The Train on the Right

This morning I was given a writing prompt by a fellow Twitter insomniac: Thriller, a train, and a notebook. Here’s what I came up with 🙂

A chill breeze blows through the open platform, and I’m glad I wore a coat. I come here often to people-watch, but today there are few travelers.

The sound of trains running by is drowned out by the music blaring in my headphones. I may want to watch the people, but I prefer not to interact with them. Observe and report, that’s my motto. Some of my best stories have come from being a fly on the platform, my hundred little eyes catching every little detail.

The breeze picks up, and I feel something brushing against my foot. I look down, and there’s a beat-up old spiral notebook under the bench, blown open by the fall winds. I don’t remember seeing a notebook there when I sat down, and no one had really walked by since to have dropped it. Curiosity wins over, and I pick it up.

It’s open to a page with two words scrawled in red: “Stand up.”

I grin and decide to play along. Someone has planned a romantic surprise for their significant other, perhaps, and left this notebook for them to find. Well, I think to myself, the SO is a no-show, so I’ll play the part for now. I stand and turn the page.

“Face north.”

Okay. North it is.

A train sits to either side of me, doors open for the passengers that come and go. No one’s really coming or going, and I find it odd that the doors have been open this long.

The next page has a ticket paper-clipped to it. Underneath the ticket are the words “Take the train on the right.”

Yes, sir. Or ma’am. The handwriting’s slanted, jagged, hurried. I decide the person orchestrating this is a male, based on nothing more than writerly instinct and what little I’ve learned about handwriting from bad investigative documentaries. Into the train on the right I go, ticket in hand.

The train is empty, save for a vagrant in the far corner, slumped against the wall, asleep. He’d be an interesting subject for a story, so I keep half an eye on him as I turn the page. “Sit in the last row, left-hand side, aisle seat.”

As soon as I’m seated the doors hiss shut, and the train jerks into motion. The vagrant’s sleep remains undisturbed despite the bumpy ride. I watch his head bob with the train’s movements over the tracks for a few moments, then I return to the notebook.

“Wait three stops.”

Boring, but I’m committed to the game by now, so I settle in and watch the vagrant. The train’s overhead speakers blare out the name of the next stop, but he snoozes right through. I’m impressed by his ability to sleep through the sounds and bumps and starts and stops. Never once does he jerk or twitch. So entranced am I that I almost miss my page turn.

“Stay seated. Wait for the doors to close again.”

This Romeo isn’t a very creative fellow. Where’s the purple prose, the poetry, the promises of wining and dining and true love? No wonder she didn’t show up.

The doors shut, and I flip the page. “Reach under your seat.”

What will it be? Flowers? Candy? A diamond ring? I’m intrigued, so I do as told.

I’m not prepared for my fingers to wrap around the handle of a knife taped under the seat.

The tape breaks as soon as I apply pressure on the handle, and I clench my hand to avoid dropping the knife and waking the vagrant. He’s a sound sleeper, but I don’t want him to wake up to a stranger brandishing a knife.

With a shaking hand, I turn the page. “Do not let go. Wait for the next stop.”

A thin sheen of sweat breaks out on my forehead, and the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention. I am no longer under the impression that this is some romantic game to win the favor of an unrequited love, and with a knife in my hand and nowhere to go but another train car, I don’t quite know what to do. I’m afraid to pull the knife all the way out, afraid to look at it.

A sharp turn catches me by surprise, and I grip the seat to keep from losing my balance. The vagrant isn’t so lucky, and he falls to the floor with a sick thud.

He doesn’t wake up.

I get up and creep down the aisle, knife in hand temporarily forgotten. Why didn’t that fall wake him up?

I have to grab onto a rail as the train’s momentum slows, and the vagrant’s body slides a bit forward. I notice a bright red streak underneath him.

A couple more steps and I’m there. I squat down and reach for him, and the knife comes into view.

The knife is covered in blood.

Before I can think, the train’s doors slide open and a cadre of transit officers swarms the car, guns drawn and pointed at me.

I’m trying to stay calm, but I can’t stop shaking. I raise my arms over my head, bloody knife still in hand, and slowly gesture towards the back of the car. “It was the notebook,” I say. “I was just following the directions in the notebook.”

One officer in the back takes a few steps backward down the aisle, gun still trained on me. He takes his eyes off of me for a moment to search under the seats, then straightens and glares. “There’s no notebook here, pal. What kind of game are you playing with us?”

I look away from the barrels of the guns to peer down the aisle.

The floor of the train car is empty of trash, debris…and notebooks.

Very shortly

It’s funny how the little things can get you more anxious than the big things.

I’m talking about short stories versus novels. With my novels, I usually take more time to fine-tune them and make sure they’re publishing-ready. Short stories, though? Most of the time I just type ’em out, give ’em a once-over for typos and flow, then throw ’em up on this blog.

This time, though, I’m going to be submitting to my publisher for a place in their next anthology. The theme (legends) fits with a new set of characters in Escape the Light, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get the world of Abnormal out to a wider audience.

I’ve never submitted a short story for publication before. I’ve never gone through the editing and beta reading process, never spent more than a couple of hours on a short piece. Not that I don’t care how my short stories turn out, but it’s a different feeling when it’s for publication. I feel more pressure to do it “right.”

Am I worried? A little. But I’m taking the necessary steps to make my story as perfect as it can be. I’ve got a few more beta readers’ feedback to go through, and I want to get someone to do a proper edit on it.

I think it’ll do well. I think it’ll get published. But I’m still nervous about it.

Testing 1, 2, 3

It started with a plan. Well, part of a plan. Thirty percent of a plan.

You see, it was early in the morning–pre-dawn early–and I was bored. I didn’t want to work on embroidery and I didn’t want to transcribe what I’d handwritten at Estrella into the computer. So I did the next logical creative thing I could think of: I asked Twitter for a prompt.

I didn’t want just any prompt. I didn’t want to go to Pinterest and pick one, or Google “writing prompts” and see what came up. I didn’t want to pick and choose what I used to spread my creative wings; I wanted something 100% unexpected.

Twitter did not disappoint. Within the hour, I had an interesting prompt that sparked a full flash fiction piece, and the results were amazing. My Twitter impressions went from their usual couple hundred per active hour to over a thousand. I gained a few new followers, and I wrote something that people enjoyed. Win-win.

I got bored again this morning, and once again I asked the Twitterverse for a prompt. Again I received one, and again I wrote a story that was well-received.

I’m going to try it again soon–maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but soon, and I’ll maybe make it a weekly or semi-weekly thing. I like that I’m totally at the mercy of the #WritingCommunity followers on Twitter, and I have no clue what prompt will come my way. Will it be something that inspires horror? Action? Suspense? Romance? Who knows! That’s the fun!

My Editor-in-Chief slash mentor loves the idea, and she loves that I managed to get some new traction going on my own accord. Now I have to keep that momentum going. But will the third time be a charm, or will it flop?

Only time will tell. I can’t write every genre well. There are going to be times when people say “Meh.” But I can try, and I can do my best. That’s what matters in this test of my writing skills: what I can do with a first draft based off a prompt from a random stranger.